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Revised scheme

Drum claims support for new Stead’s Place plan

The new plan retains the sandstone buildings

Revised plans for a controversial redevelopment project in Leith appear to be winning broader support than earlier proposals which prompted a public backlash.

Drum Property Group has submitted a planning application for the redevelopment of the 2.9-acre Stead’s Place site, near the foot of Leith Walk.

The site has been earmarked for development by Edinburgh City Council since 2008 and consists largely of a rundown industrial estate and office space, together with a two-storey sandstone building facing directly on to Leith Walk. Many of the shop units have been boarded up as the future of the terrace remained uncertain.

Drum’s revised proposals will replace the existing industrial units with 146 high-quality apartments as part of a landscaped residential scheme linking to Pilrig Park and beyond.

Many of the shop units were boarded up after the plan was first announced

The sandstone building on Leith Walk will be retained and refurbished and made available for commercial occupation. Earlier plans involved demolition of this row of buildings and their replacement with a hotel, shops and student accommodation.

The new proposal follows a six-month consultation which resulted in almost three-quarters of respondents either in support or neutral about Drum’s revised plans, with more than 80% saying that the site should now be developed. 

Welcoming the new planning application, Graeme Bone, group managing director at Drum, said: “This new planning application represents a culmination of more than three-and-a-half years of intense planning, consultation and hard work since Drum first purchased the site. 

“Our proposals will now bring an added dimension to Leith Walk and the wider area, transforming what is currently an inhospitable industrial site by creating an attractive, open and accessible homes-led community for residents and visitors alike. 

“This provides a comfortable living environment, away from the busy Leith Walk and linked through accessible and landscaped walkways and cycle routes to Pilrig Park and the rest of the city. 

Stead's Place Leith Walk

An initial plan featuring a new block drew objections

“By retaining and refurbishing the red sandstone buildings facing on to Leith Walk, we are also contributing to the wider regeneration of the local area, providing investment to create an attractive and distinctive destination and focal point which is needed now, more than ever. 

“We are pleased that our designs have been well-received by the local community throughout an extensive and positive consultation programme, and now look forward to progressing the application with the City of Edinburgh Council.” 

Drum’s planning application is for 146 high-quality apartments with the majority being build-for-rent and 36 being earmarked for affordable housing in line with Council policy.

Building heights have been reduced to four and five storeys following feedback from the consultation process. Significant green space and access routes through the site open up a streetscape, linking the two residential buildings with the sandstone building overlooking Leith Walk.

Mr Bone added: “Our revised proposals will maintain the red sandstone building whilst incorporating sympathetic design for the residential quarter to the rear of the site, creating a much-improved access linking Leith Walk with Pilrig Park.

“This will continue the traditions of vibrancy and independence which makes Leith Walk such an exciting destination in which to live, work and visit.” 

The new planning submission follows a previous application submitted by Drum to the City of Edinburgh in 2018.  For more information on the revised proposals, visit 

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